WVIT Hartford, or NBC Connecticut, as it’s known locally, announced a news expansion while I was actually visiting the station yesterday. As an NBC owned station, WVIT is benefiting from Comcast’s commitment to revivifying the stations with new vehicles, equipment, investigative teams, and news expansions.
The station announced it was starting Saturday and Sunday morning news at 5:30–giving Saturdays an extra half hour, and Sundays an extra hour.
“The expanded coverage allows us to serve Connecticut viewers that have not had any options for local news before 6 AM on weekend mornings,” said David Doebler, WVIT president and GM in a statement. “We saw a need in the market and decided to fill the gap to better respond to the needs of our viewers.”
Doebler told me weekend news viewers are often a different bunch than those who watch during the week, so it’s a chance to get sampling from a group of viewers that’s relatively untapped.
WVIT has built some ratings momentum, thanks in part to a terrific digital facility it built two years ago. The new HQ positively screams its presence for those passing by in I-84. (Its presence along New Britain Avenue, the local road that you actually reach the station from, is a bit more subtle. Fortunately I was early for my appointment and had time to ask for directions.)
WVIT is also poised to launch a new I-team covering the Hartford- New Haven market.